Thursday, May 16, 2013

Making Friends on Twitter and Growing Relationships

How do you use Twitter? Why are you there? I believe, if you're like most people, you tweet so that others can find what it is that you are trying to share. For Mike and me, that's The Wayward Gifted: Broken Point, a coming of age story loaded with angst and adventure, for adolescents through adults. Our goal is to help people who are interested find our book. We want to create relationships, share what we have, share what our friends have to share, and we want to build and maintain the friendships.  It's that simple.

First off, there are probably a bazillion people on Twitter who have more followers than @DonnaChildree. As of the time of this post I have 2642 followers. I am following 1629, and I have tweeted 10247 times. I tweet a lot. Again, I do it because I want people to find The Wayward Gifted.

I don't follow every person who follows me, but I do follow most. If I can't read the language I don't follow. I check in with every few days to see who I'm following that is not following me.  Today that number is eighty. How do you feel about people who don't follow you back? My feeling is that if someone chooses not to follow me, at best our relationship is one-sided.  I can share what they have to offer, but they won't even know that I exist. I'm interested in reciprocal relationships. I'll remove those eighty people now, not out of anger, but because there isn't a connection and it makes no sense for me to hold on.

When I'm going through the process of un-following someone I pay attention to the number of tweets they make daily, and the last day they tweeted. I look at the number of followers they have and the number of people they follow. If a person has not tweeted in several days I might choose to keep him/her for a while. If they have not tweeted in months, I will let them go.  If a person has 245,000 followers but only follows 350 people I know right away that they are not interested in what I have to say. If the ratio of following/followers is very close and they tweet many times daily I may choose to hold on for a few more days.

Once I clear out the people who are not following me I will return to Twitter and I will follow their recommendations for people I should follow. I will follow between fifty and one hundred people daily. The following day I will return to again and only keep the ones who followed back. It seems that somewhere between twenty and forty percent follow back daily. This does not take into account people who may decide, for whatever reason, to unfollow on that day. Again, it's not personal. If it's not a fit, it's not a fit. I may find myself following them again at a later date. They may even follow back. They may not.

What do I tweet? I want to make sure that I am helping my fellow tweeters as much as they are helping me. I'll begin by searching my name, @DonnaChildree to see who has mentioned me in a tweet. I'll also do a search for "The Wayward Gifted." When I do this search, I'm going to find a number of things. I'll find conversations that I'm having with other tweeters. I'll find retweets of comments I've made in an effort to help spread the word for other tweeters, and I'll find tweets where tweeters are plugging us and our book.

I will go through this list of tweeters before I go any further. If a tweeter has retweeted something I've said to help them share their item I will usually not say anything because unless they hand the ball back to me the message seems to stop there. I'm not here solely for the purpose of plugging their business. I look for twitter friends who are interested in reciprocation. Where there is a conversation I will reply and keep the conversation going. In these conversations I may end by asking my friend what he or she is working on. This will give him/her an opportunity to tweet back and plug what they want others to find. It really is about relationships and helping one another. I'm continually looking for opportunities to keep the conversation going so that I can share for my friend and my friend can share for me.

People respond in different ways. Some retweet what I've sent out and do nothing more. Some retweet and favorite the tweet. Others will reply and say "thank you," which is nice, but which is another missed opportunity to keep the conversation going. What that person could do is go to my page and share something from my profile, or share a tweet that I've recently posted about our book.

After I finish going down the list of people who have mentioned me in a tweet I will begin choosing Twitter friends at random and doing the same thing. I'm gong to share something from their profile that will help my twitter friends learn about what is offered. And so it goes...

There are wonderful opportunities here to share and to help one another get the word out about what we are doing. Don't lose an opportunity to keep the conversation going.

I think if you give this a try you will find that you have many new followers, with more and more of them learning about you and what it is that you do.

Do you have a twitter strategy that you'd like to share? We'd love to hear what you do.

Because we each have to find our own way...
 The Wayward Gifted: Broken Point 

 A coming of age story loaded with angst & adventure 
 For adolescents through adults.

 Thanks for joining us. We're glad you're here. Donna and Mike
The Wayward Gifted - Broken Point